Hargan Psychology

While each person suffering with depression will have a different experience. depression can be all-consuming and overwhelming and leave you feeling exhausted and unmotivated to engage with the world and the people around you. Therefore, it’s vital to seek professional support if you are feeling this way as depression is not something that you should try to deal with alone.

Our team of psychologists are ready to help. In addition to professional support, there are various techniques that can be developed to support individuals suffering with depression and other mental health challenges. Have a chat to your psychologist about incorporating these into your mental health toolkit.

1. Mindfulness Meditation

Our therapists in Melbourne often recommend mindfulness practices as they can help individuals stay present, focus on their thoughts and feelings, and cultivate a sense of inner calm. Regularly practicing mindfulness or meditation can improve emotional well-being and foster a positive mindset.

Mindfulness and meditation are rooted in ancient practices that have gained more recent recognition for the positive impact it can have on mental health. In the context of depression, mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment without judgement. Therapists at Hargan Psychology often recommend mindfulness practices, as they have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety for some individuals.

Using Mindfulness, you take time to observe your thoughts and feelings non-judgmentally, promoting self-awareness and acceptance. It involves focusing on your breath, what your body can feel, and/or a specific point of concentration. Through regular practice, individuals can develop a greater sense of emotional regulation, allowing them to respond to life’s challenges with improved resilience.

2. Set Realistic Goals

Working with one of our Hargan psychologists, we can help you set realistic and achievable goals to support your mental health. Breaking down all of the tasks that you need to do in your personal and professional life into smaller, manageable steps is one approach that can be helpful. This makes what you are trying to achieve less daunting and provides a sense of accomplishment as each step is completed. Sometimes, when we focus on the big, end goal, it can feel like we are never going to get there!

Realistic goal-setting is also about finding a balance between challenging yourself and setting objectives that are achievable, this is a life skill in itself!

Your psychologist can work with you to help you define your realistic goals They can help you work out specific, measurable, and time-bounded goals that align with your individual values.

Moreover, the process of setting and achieving realistic goals provides individuals with a tangible roadmap for progress. It helps you to feel in control of your life and counter feelings of helplessness that can sometimes be experienced when an individual is depressed.

3. Establish a Routine

Having a consistent routine can provide a sense of stability and predictability which can also help individuals to feel in control.

A daily routine should incorporate all of the tasks that you need to get done such as get the kids to school, get to work, fulfil your obligations for the workday, pick up the kids, prepare dinner and so on.

As much as possible, it should also involve setting aside dedicated time for activities that promote well-being, such as eating regular meals, sufficient sleep, and exercise. A structured day provides a sense of control and order but also helps to include self-care practices as much as possible and as part of your day-to-day.

If an individual has experienced a bout of severe depression that has significantly impacted daily life, for example not being able to go to work, a routine can create a framework to reintegrate into daily life. At Hargan Psychology, we promote the ‘one step at a time’ philosophy; not concentrating on the end goal as much as celebrating each step that leads you closer.

4. Social Connection

Actively engaging in social activities, whether it’s spending time with loved ones, joining support groups, or participating in community events can help to counter feelings of isolation and loneliness that can be experienced with depression. Experiencing depression can make you feel alone as those around you go about their lives, but you struggle to engage in previously enjoyed activities. Although it can be challenging, connection with others can provide a sense of belonging and of being part of a community.

Social connection


5. Physical Exercise

Regular physical activity tends to have a positive impact on mental health. Psychologists recommend incorporating exercise into your daily routine, as it releases endorphins, your body’s natural mood lifters. This can significantly contribute to increased motivation and an improved overall mood. However it is important to engage in exercise ‘mindfully’ and not with your ‘mind full’.

6. Expressive Writing

Journaling or expressive writing can be a therapeutic outlet for those experiencing depression. Putting your thoughts and emotions on paper can provide clarity, promote self-reflection, and serve as a tool for tracking progress.

The act of writing can help you to make sense of negative thoughts and behaviours that might be contributing to your depression,. Through the exploration of thoughts and feelings on paper, some individuals gain insight into unhealthy patterns of thinking and discover areas for growth.

Expressive writing can also enable you to track your progress. Documenting achievements, no matter how small, and reflecting on positive changes over time can improve mental wellbeing by reinforcing a sense of accomplishment.

7. Mind-Body Techniques

Techniques that include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery can help manage the stress and anxiety associated with depression. These mind-body practices not only promote relaxation but can also improve overall mental wellbeing, laying the foundation for increased motivation.

8. Celebrate Small Wins

Depression can make it challenging to recognise achievements. Therapists at Hargan Psychology often encourage individuals to acknowledge and celebrate even the smallest accomplishments. This positive reinforcement can build confidence and positivity over time, supporting you to Live Your Best Life.

Remember that every person’s experience with depression is different. Your psychologist will help you to identify the best ways that you can manage your depression and work towards improved mental health and wellbeing.